5 Steps to Living a Non-Toxic Lifestyle
Living a natural, non-toxic life sounds great! Right? What most people don't fully understand is that it's a lot easier said than done. For instance, natural products are typically at a higher price-point than their cheaper, toxic, counterparts. People tend to have a lot of questions when they're trying to make the switch into a non-toxic lifestyle, I know I did! What does it look like? Do I need to throw away everything I own and start new? What should I eat? Can I still have ice cream? These are all of the questions that rattled around my head, and they circle around the heads of many others just like me. I'm going to share with you small changes that you can make, that wont break your budget, so that you can begin the journey of living a natural life.
Some encouragement: Non-toxic living takes time, so don't feel like you're behind or that you need to drop thousands of dollars right away. Making small changes everyday (or even every month) will dramatically improve your lifestyle!
Choose Clean Produce and Meat
If you can avoid consuming pesticides, do it! Going 100% organic can be really overwhelming, not-to-mention expensive. A good tip is to choose your top 5-10 foods that you eat the most and buy them organic. You can also head over to your local farmers market and purchase fresh produce. When choosing meat, it can be really hard to find clean options. My family uses the same rule of thumb with produce as we do with our meat. We eat a lot of chicken so that's what we buy organic.
Tip: Chicken = free, range, antibiotic and hormone free.
Beef = 100% grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone free.
Fish = wild-caught.
Say Goodbye to Refined Sugar and Flour
Refined sugar and flour can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and a bunch of other issues that none of us want to deal with. Reducing your intake of these things will help you feel better and live a better lifestyle. Look for coconut sugar, honey, and pure maple syrup as sweeteners. I'm not going to lie, these don't taste the same as the refined option, but give it some time and your body will adjust to the new flavors. For flour, my family likes to look for almond flour, coconut flour, or some type of sprouted grain. Sprouts and Trader Joes always have coupons so it's easy to find clean options to replace your processed and refined counterparts.
Make the Switch into Clean Cosmetics
You would be surprised to find out what is actually in your makeup. This one was (and still is) the hardest part about clean living. It's so easy to gravitate toward your local Ulta and stock up on all the high-end and drugstore makeup, but if we want to live a non-toxic lifestyle, we can't just think about what is going into our bodies, we need to be aware of what we're using on top of our skin. Parabens, phthalates, and, Triclosan should all be avoided. Unfortunately, even some natural products have these ingredients in them, so read the label before purchasing. Check everything that you put on your body: Moisturizer, soap, shampoo and conditioner, face wash, makeup, etc.. This can easily be the most overwhelming process, so take it slow. Remember that any good change is a HUGE thumbs up! Again, making small changes over a long period of time will turn into a lifestyle change.
Get Rid of Artificial Fragrances
I love Bath and Body Works as much as the next girl, but they aren't exactly the poster child for clean living. Products with artificial fragrance constantly blow toxins into the air around your home, which is lame because we all want our house to smell good, right? Essential oils, friends. Make sure you're paying attention to what's in them - not all of them are 100% natural so make a wise choice. I love to diffuse cedarwood, pine, orange, and cinnamon. Honestly, I never thought I would get away from my candle obsession, but here I am, diffusing essential oils and loving every minute of it.
Choose Non-Toxic Cookware
Non-stick, teflon contains toxins called PFC's. When these pans get scratched the toxins are released and absorbed into our food. Gross! My family likes to use a cast iron skillet for most of our cooking. You can stick it in the oven and use it for sautéing, frying, and roasting. Stainless steel is another good option that you can use to boil or make soups and sauces.
Well there you go! 5 steps to living a non-toxic lifestyle. There are so many other things you can do, but I think this is good starting point. Like I said at the beginning, take it slow. You don't need to make a life change in one day. This will take time, but just know that we are all on this journey together and everyone in the Toxico family is rooting for you to succeed!